10 Must-Listen Middle Grade Audiobooks for All AgesBy: OwlCrate Jr
10 Must-Listen Middle Grade Audiobooks for All Ages
There’s not much I like more than escaping into an audiobook! Doing the dishes, baking, colouring, and even cleaning —audiobooks make even the yucky chores so much more enjoyable. Middle Grade stories are one of my absolute favourite genres of audiobooks —you definitely don’t have to be a middle grader to enjoy middle grade!
Here are my top ten middle grade audiobooks I think any age of listener can enjoy!
Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland, Narrated by Bahni Turpin:
This is an incredibly absorbing historical fiction with a paranormal twist. One terrible night in Georgia, 1922, Ophie’s father is killed, and, soon after, she discovers she can see ghosts when his spirit appears to only her. Her mama and her move to Pittsburgh to stay with relatives and both get jobs at a grande manor … full of ghosts! At first she is reluctant to interact with the ghosts but Ophie eventually learns to help them, even befriending one. But this manor holds many secrets and Ophie discovers not all ghosts have good intentions. This atmospheric story is narrated so perfectly by Bahni Turpin the characters just leap to life!
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Narrated by Jenny Sterlin:
There are many forms of media with which to enjoy this fan favourite classic story - movie, reading, and even a few different audiobook versions, but this is my favourite! Jenny Sterlin brings a rich, nostalgic tone to this story that gave me those same feelings I had when being read aloud to as a kid. Howl’s Moving Castle is a fun fantasy novel written with great imagination and humour about a girl named Sophie who, on one fateful afternoon, is turned into an old woman by a wicked witch. Her only hope of breaking this spell is to seek the help of the Wizard Howl … but are the rumours true about him devouring the souls of girls??
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, Narrated by Gemma Whelan:
I’m sorry, not sorry, that I recommend this series so much … but it is just that good! Gemma Whelan’s amazing narration of the series brings all these characters to such great life! Solidly entertaining, I can guarantee all ages can enjoy this story about Morrigan Crow who, as a cursed child and bringer of all misfortune, is destined to die on her eleventh birthday. But upon the fated day a man with flaming red hair —Jupiter North— comes and whisks her away to Nevermoor and the Hotel Deucalion. Giant talking cats, friendships, a magical, living hotel and an extremely well rounded, lively cast of characters await you in-between these pages.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, Narrated by Jayne Entwistle:
This audiobook actually won the Odyssey Honour by the American Library Association, and I can see why. This audiobook is so incredibly narrated, so vividly absorbing, and, even though it is a murder mystery being solved by a group of young girls, it is greatly calming! The seven girls of St. Etheldreda’s School for Young Ladies find themselves in a bit of a pickle when their headmaster and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, drop dead at the dinner table one Sunday night. Not wanting the school to close, the girls try to cover up the murders (and solve them!) before the authorities find out. This Victorian middle grade whodunnit is so funny and outrageous!
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, Narrated by Lynn Redgrave:
Similarly to Howl’s Moving Castle, the narrated version of Inkheart brings me straight back to amazing read aloud stories from my Elementary School days. This isn’t a short listen, but is so worth the time —much in the same vein as The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings or The Golden Compass. In this dark fantasy contemporary you’ll meet Meggie who lives a quiet life surrounded by books with her bookbinder father, Mo. One night a dark figure shows up demanding an old book in Mo’s possession. Meggie discovers that her father has the ability to read things out of stories and on one terrible day when Meggie was three, he accidentally read an evil man named Capricorn out of a book and her mother disappeared into it! Now trying to out run Capricorn and his cruel posse —Meggie and Mo are desperate to keep the book from his hands and must rely on each other, and the magic that started this nightmare, in order to survive.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Narrated by Neil Gaiman:
Confession: I usually strongly dislike books narrated by the author! So take that as an extra endorsement here! As with Coraline and The House at the End of the Ocean, Gaiman isn’t really writing for any singular “age range” and I truly believe many different ages will get something different from this story about a boy named Bod, who, after his family is murdered, escapes to a nearby graveyard where he is raised by the ghosts of the dead inhabitants. A little warning: the first chapter is pretty spooky, nerve wracking and a bit bloody, so make sure you keep that in mind for yourself or your little reader. Makes an excellent fall read!
The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker, Narrated by Amy Landon:
One of the very first OwlCrate Jr books my daughter and I read together, this underrated fantasy holds a special place in my heart. Constellations that come to life, steam punk pirate ships floating through the night skies, magic, science, friendship, and found identity all await you in these pages. Honorine works as a maid in the Vidalia mansion, until one night she catches two British sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study. Intent to stop them, she is whisked away aboard their steamship and into the night sky where constellations come to life. But the constellations are in trouble —someone is stealing them and harnessing their power!— and Honorine herself holds an important key to saving them.
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, Narrated by Cassandra Morris:
This is such a great audiobook just stuffed full of lush, lively and beautiful words and really fun magic. The main character, Felicity, is a “word collector” —she sees words everywhere, literally! Moving with her sister and mother to the once magical Midnight Gulch, a town where people once sang thunderstorms to life and danced up sunflowers. But the magic has disappeared and Felicity desperately wants to bring it back, hoping to cure her mother’s broken heart, and to finally be able to stay put in one place long enough to grow roots. Wonderfully narrated by Cassandra Morris who makes Felicity come to sparkling life!
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell, Narrate by David Tennant:
This story is just so much wild, whacky, nonstop fun … and another past OwlCrate Jr pick! I highly recommend reading it along with a physical copy so you can enjoy the illustrations by author Cressida Cowell. But even if you can’t snag a copy, David Tennant’s narration brings this story to exalting heights. Once their was magic, until the warriors came … taught from birth to hate each other Xar, a wizard who will do anything to obtain magic, and Wish, a warrior in possession of a secret magical object, will have their lives forever changed when their paths cross.
Nightbooks by J.A. White, Narrated by Kirby Heyborne:
If you’re looking for a spookily good, shivers down your spine, creeptastic read —let Nightbooks take you away. Alex is most happy escaping into the pages of the scary stories he loves to write. That is until he finds himself trapped in a nightmare! Being held captive by a wicked witch in another apartment in his building, he must write and read a story to the witch every night in order to survive. His only hope of escape is to write himself a way out of this twisted nightmare … hopefully! The narration here adds to the sense of foreboding and creepiness as Kirby speaks with such a mesmerizing cadence, you’re almost lulled into a bit of trance.